The island nation of Cyprus, alas divided into two zones, won their first Olympic medal ever – in sailing!
Here’s the WashPo (Associated Press) coverage:
Kontides won a sailing silver medal Monday in the Laser class, giving him the first metal won by Cyprus since the island nation began taking part in the games in 1980. His achievement is a welcome distraction for Cypriots as their island suffers a deep recession and seeks financial aid from European institutions.
Try this out for a greeting! National hero! Sports imperialists cry in despair! The Dream Team will never be greeted like this…
LARNACA, Cyprus — Donning laurel and olive wreaths on his head like Olympic champions of antiquity, Cyprus’ first-ever Olympic medalist returned home a hero on Thursday with fans chanting his name.
Holding banners reading “Immortal” and “You’ve made us all proud,” dozens of flag-waving Cypriots turned out at the island’s main airport, in the coastal town of Larnaca, to welcome Pavlos Kontides.
Try this coverage, too:
“It is really amazing,” he said. “For me and my country, it is a historic day. I suspect my name will be written in golden letters in Cyprus. I still don’t realise what I have done for myself and when I return to my country on Thursday and people are cheering for me I will start to realise the level of achievement.”
And this about Cyprus, Grenada and the Chilean who almost won a gymnastics medal (he finished fourth):
London’s Summer Games saw three nations making Olympic history today, with Cyprus and Grenada claiming their first medals and Tomás González the first Chilean to qualify for gymnastics events.
So, to celebrate this wonderful event, here is the Cypriot national anthem for NBC’s benefit (Yes I know it is a silver medal and they would have played the Australian anthem instead) and the Cyprus flag will be out shortly!
By the way, this is great anthem for a Ron Paul libertarian!
I shall always recognise you
By the dreadful sword you hold,
As the earth, with searching vision,
You survey, with spirit bold.
‘Twas the Greeks of old whose dying
Brought to birth our spirit free.
Now, with ancient valour rising,
Let us hail you, oh Liberty!